Tuesday, July 22, 2014

If there is no God, why is there so much good?

Ann Voskamp reminds us that the philosopher Augustine asked two questions:
“If there is no God, why is there so much good?

If there is a God, why is there so much evil?”
Ann points out that we have spent far more effort trying to answer the latter question, while neglecting the first. Read more here.

Man-made or from natural sources?

A paper published July 17 in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics finds that
only about 3.75% [15 ppm] of the CO2 in the lower atmosphere is man-made from the burning of fossil fuels, and thus, the vast remainder of the 400 ppm atmospheric CO2 is from land-use changes and natural sources such as ocean outgassing and plant respiration.

if use of fossil-fuels has contributed such a small part of total atmospheric CO2 levels, restricting use of fossil fuels will have little effect upon CO2 levels.
Read more here.

Clinton, Inc


Victor Davis Hanson writes:
Barack Obama’s team recently took credit for improving the “tranquility of the global community,” and the president made it clear just what a calm place the world has become during his tenure.

But this summer Obama’s tranquil world [1] has descended into medieval barbarism in a way scarcely seen in decades. In Gaza, Hamas is banking its missile arsenal in mosques, schools and private homes; even Hitler did not do that with his V2s. Hamas terrorists resort to trying to wire up animals [2] to serve as suicide bombers. Aztec-style, they seek to capture Israeli soldiers to torture or trade — a sort of updated version of parading captive soldiers up the Templo Mayor [3] in Tenochtitlan.

Hanson goes on to chronicle here what is happening in Ukraine, Iraq, Iran, our southern border, and other places that really do not seem tranquil at all.

Indulgences paid in full

Victor Davis Hanson writes about the cool hipsters of Silicon Valley:
If Silicon Valley produced gas and oil, built bulldozers, processed logs, mined bauxite, or grew potatoes, then the administration, academia, Hollywood, and the press would damn its white-male exclusivity, patronization of women, huge material appetites, lack of commitment to racial diversity, concern for ever-greater profits, and seeming indifference to the poor. But they do not, because the denizens of the valley have paid for their indulgences and therefore are free to sin as they please, convinced that their future days in Purgatory can be reduced by a few correct words about Solyndra, Barack Obama, and the war on women.

Practicing cutthroat capitalism while professing cool communitarianism should be a paradox. But in Silicon Valley it is simply smart business. The more money you make, any way you can make it, the more you can find ways of contextualizing it. At first these Silicon Valley contradictions were amusing, then they were grating, and now they are mostly just pathetic.
Read the details here.

What it's like to be in the Secret Service detail for one of the Clintons

Ronald Kessler is the man who broke the story that Secret Service agents protecting President Obama in Cartagena, Colombia, hired prostitutes, and put the president in jeopardy. Kessler has a new book coming out on August 5 entitled The first Family Detail. In it Kessler writes that Bill Clinton has a new mistress that the Secret Service has given the code name Energizer. When Hillary leaves the house, the Energizer arrives, sometimes with cookies for the Secret Service agents.

also reports that Hillary’s Secret Service detail informs Bill’s Secret Service detail when the former first lady is coming home, so Bill has time to get Energizer off the property and clean up any evidence.

But once, the warning came late. “The agents had to scramble to get Energizer out of there so there wasn’t some kind of big confrontation.”

Kessler also reveals that Hillary is routinely rude to the agents who are sworn to take a bullet for her.

“Because she is so nasty to agents and hostile to law enforcement officers and military officers in general, agents consider being assigned to her detail a form of punishment,” Kessler wrote.
Read more here.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Dr. Ben Carson wins 2016 Presidential straw poll

The Western Conservative Summit concluded this weekend in Denver. 3,300 people attended. A straw poll was conducted with 660 voters. Ben Carson won the poll, getting 22% of the vote. Ted Cruz came in second with 13%. Sara Palin was third with 12%.

I personally would be thrilled Carson as our candidate, and I also like Cruz and Palin. The very fact that Carson is not someone with a history as a politician appeals to me, as does his delightful personality.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Our populist progressives

Victor Davis Hanson asks:
What does a $200,000 Ivy League education or a graduate degree really get you any more? In the sophisticated world of our political and highly credentialed elites, there are 57 states. Atlantic Coast cities are said to lie along the Gulf of Mexico; after all, they are down there somewhere in the South. The Malvinas become the Maldives — Ma- with an s at the end seems close enough. Corps-men serve in the military (as zombies?). Medgar Evans was a civil-rights icon, but you know whom we mean. President Roosevelt addressed the nation on television after the stock-market crash in 1929 — well, he would have, had he been president then and if only Americans had had televisions in their homes. And how are we to know that what we read from celebrity authors is not just made up or plagiarized, whether a Maureen Dowd column or a Doris Kearns Goodwin book?

It is hard to guess on any given summer weekend which populist progressive family — the Obamas, the Clintons, the Kerrys, the Gores — will be ensconced on what particular Hamptons, Nantucket, or Martha’s Vineyard beach, rubbing shoulders with just the sort of Silicon Valley or Wall Street new zillionaires who during work hours are supposed to be the evil “1 percent” and “fat cats” who need to be forced to pay their “fair share.”

Al Gore, like Trimalchio, does not mutter a word without revealing his ignorance — or hypocrisy. Over the last 15 years, the planet has not heated up, and the science of global warming is not established, which is why the nomenclature had to change from global warming to climate change to climate chaos in order to account for too much bothersome wet, snowy, and cold weather. The reconciler, who became a near-billionaire both hyping global warming and selling medieval-style indulgences as antidotes, now claims those who disagree with him are comparable to fascists and racists. All this comes from a wheeler-dealer who made big money damning fossil fuels only to sell a failing cable station to an anti-Semitic, anti-American fascistic enterprise, fueled by the millions garnered from the vast export of oil and gas from the Arabian peninsula. And to complete Gore’s Trimalchian man-of-the-people profile, he rushed the sale in hopes of beating the new, higher capital-gains taxes that he had been urging for lesser folk — sort of like progressive John Kerry buying and berthing his grand new yacht in Rhode Island to avoid the high excise and sales taxes in his home state of Massachusetts.
Read more here.

The fine art of small talk

I am very lucky in that I get to talk to an average of about 300 people a day at my job. Many are repeats. People invariably ask me how my day is going. I have to honestly admit that I am having a good day, and then I say I hope they are having a good day, too. John Corcoran points that:
if you’re in a grumpy mood, but turn on the warmth while talking to a stranger, you’ll start actually feeling a lot better. Interacting with strangers is a great way to lift your mood.

As Brett and Kate McKay wrote in 2012,
It’s easy to dismiss small talk as idle chit-chat, or superficial or pointless, and claim to only be interested in “real” conversation. But how do you get to the point of having a deeper conversation with someone in the first place? Someone you just met would be weirded out if you just walked up to them and asked, “Why do you think God allows bad things to happen to good people?” Conversation is a ladder, with small talk serving as the first few rungs. You can’t leap-frog up the ladder. That would be like trying to sprint before warming up, or cook a steak without defrosting it, or merge onto a highway without building up speed on the on-ramp, or…well you get the idea.

Small talk is the portal through which every person you will ever meet will enter your life. That’s huge when you ponder it. You never know who you’re going to encounter in a class, at a coffee shop, at the gym, at a wedding; they could be your future business partner or boss, your future best friend or wife. You simply never know when someone you meet will send your life in a new direction. But if you can’t initiate these relationships, your circle of contacts and intimates will never expand past the current roster of friends whose Facebook updates and tweets you can’t take your eyes off of in order to meet the gaze of those sitting right next to you.

How do you kick off a conversation? Communications expert Dr. Carol Fleming offers a three-part process to kick off a conversation: Anchor, Reveal, Encourage (ARE).
Anchor. This is an observation on your “mutual shared reality” that extends the first little thread of connection between you and another person — the lightest of pleasantries about something you’re both seeing or experiencing.

Reveal. Next, disclose something about yourself that is related to the anchor you just threw out.

Encourage. Now you hand off the ball to them by asking a question:

Whether you follow-up with a comment or question, be sure to alternate between the two options. Strike a balance: too many questions fired one right after the other will make the conversation feel more like an interrogation, and too many comments won’t give the other person a chance to talk. That’s no good, as your interest in what they have to say is what endears you to them.

Compliment. A good way to kick off some small talk is to tie a compliment and a question together. When complimenting a woman, stick with a behavior, accomplishment, or article of clothing rather than a body part.

It’s true what Dale Carnegie said: “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years trying to get other people interested in you.”

Technology has created an interesting phenomenon in which people increasingly crave real face-to-face connection, while at the same time becoming less equipped to facilitate it.

The only way to get better at small talk is to practice.
Read more here.

US Marine Corp commandant speaks out critically of Obama and the Pentagon

The Commandant of the United States Marine Corp, General James Amos, did something very unusual this week: he spoke out critically against policy decisions of the President of the United States Barack Obama.

Reporting for The Fiscal Times, David Francis observes that “It’s highly unusual for a high-ranking soldier, let alone a high-ranking Marine, to publicly question White House and Pentagon policy. Yet that’s exactly what four-star Gen. James Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps, did yesterday in Washington.”

Speaking at the Brookings Institute, Amos criticized the Obama administration for:

1. Paving the way for the emergence of the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (ISIS) by completely withdrawing American troops in 2011. Amos said: “I have a hard time believing that had we been there, and worked with the government, and worked with parliament, and worked with the minister of defense, the minister of interior, I don’t think we’d be in the same shape we’re in today.”

2. Failing to live up to U.S. obligations around the world. Amos said: “We may think we’re done with all of these nasty, thorny, tacky little things that are going on around the world — and I’d argue that if you’re in that nation, it’s not a tacky, little thing for you. We may think we’re done with them, but they’re not done with us. We’re probably the only country in the world that has the resources and the capability to be able to do some of this that others can’t.”

3. Forfeiting gains made in Iraq and Afghanistan for which U.S. troops had fought and sacrificed. Referring to the fall of the Anbar province in Iraq, which Marines won in 2010 and in whhich 852 Marines were killed and naother 8,500 injured, Amos said “It breaks our hearts. They believed that they’d made a difference.”
Read more here.

Predicting trouble for Democrats this fall

Ross Kaminsky predicts
it is the criticism by Hispanics and African-Americans of President Obama's response to the tsunami of adult and pint-sized illegal immigrants which suggests the political catastrophe that these events will unleash on Democrats during elections barely three months away.

Democrats will inject race — rarely an effective issue in non-presidential election years — into the 2014 debate because they believe they have no choice. But an intended clarion call for Democrats and independents to support an inclusive party and president will now be muffled: It is difficult to paint the GOP as hating "black and brown" people when both so publicly criticize Obama as abandoning them in favor of illegal immigrants.

Immigration itself is similarly dead as a political cudgel for Democrats. Instead, Republican claims that the president cannot be trusted to enforce the border and is therefore not a credible partner in negotiating immigration reform (in which the GOP would demand a more secure border) suddenly seem like sound reasoning.

With a desperate need to change the subject from the border fiasco and every other mess of Barack Obama's making, look for panicky Democrats — including Colorado's own Sen. Mark Udall — to double down on their dishonest claims about Republican views of America's wives, mothers, sisters and daughters.

After all, when you can't talk about what you have done, all that's left is to lie about the other guys.
Read more here.

Home education: a bright star in America's future

When a family of home educated kids comes into the store where I work, I can usually tell that they are homeschooled. The kids are not whiney and demanding. They seem contented. They help mom load the groceries into the cart. They are polite.

Kevin Swanson writes:
While the cost of education in the United States has increased and academic performance has fallen, a bright star shines over America's academic landscape: home education.

While government schools spend an average of $5,325 per student per year to attain a 50th percentile performance ranking among the states, $1.5 million home-schooled children cost U.S. families only about $400 per student annually, to achieve test scores averaging 25 percent higher at the 75th percentile.

A large research study completed last year found that the average eighth grade homeschooled student performs four grade levels above the national average.

A major factor in this achievement is intense parental involvement - a known key to exceptional academic performance.

Cutting-edge technologies like CDROM, interactive video, satellite feeds, and on-line tutoring are bringing the best teaching tools and methods right into the home, increasing parental options exponentially. Home education may be a tried and true historical method of teaching, but it is now the wave of the future. Our top universities are actively recruiting home-educated students because of their love of learning and mature study habits.

A third advantage to home education is the opportunity to maximize the individuality of each child. As government education becomes increasingly centralized and bureaucratized, the inevitable result becomes a one-size-fits-all curriculum and classroom structure. Conversely, just as the small business can be more responsive to consumer needs, the home school can be incredibly flexible and adaptable to meet the needs of each child. Every individual child has his or her learning style, interests and abilities. With the individual attention provided by a home education, each student's curriculum can be tailored to help him reach his fullest potential. There need not be any common denominator to which all students are reduced.

The predominant view of modern education places man as supreme over his own destiny, with a relative and changing set of ethics. For many families this undermines a strong faith in God. For them, home education provides the opportunity to pass on their family's faith and values to the next generation.

Home education is setting the new standards for academic achievement, character development, social skills, creativity, family, and responsible citizenship. The true impact of home education on our country's social, business, and political institutions will only be felt 20 years from now. Home education is definitely a bright star in America's future!
Read more here.

Grade inflation

Are your kids knocking down As and Bs? You might want to hold off for a minute on your celebration. Dick Hilker writes that there doesn't seem to be a direct correlation between grades and scores on standardized tests. Remember, our educators want kiddies to feel good about themselves. Here are some of the troubling signs:
For one, letter grades are generally higher than results of state test scores. For another, there is the issue of remedial classes.

According to the 2013 study, 37 percent of all Colorado grads enrolling in state colleges and universities were required at some point to take remedial classes. In other words, they were not "college-ready." (On the positive side, that number is down from 40 percent the year before.)

Last year, students enrolled at our state colleges and universities spent $56 million on remedial classes, courses for which they received no credit.

Perhaps more conclusive are in-depth studies conducted a decade ago by the two companies that administer tests for college entrance, ACT and SAT. Both showed a growing discrepancy between their test scores and the letter grades awarded.

The ACT people claim that overall, grades were inflated 12.5 percent between 1991 and 2003. If that trend has continued, many grades handed out today would be a full point higher than they should be.
Read more here.

An enthusiasm for the allocating of blame

Patty Limerick lists a few of the problems few, if any of us, are trying to solve in America today:
1. An incomplete recovery from the recession.

2. Difficulties in equitably providing health care.

3. The uncertain state of American power internationally.

4. The stalemated state of deliberation on the nation's energy future.

5. The population's inclination to obesity.

6. The fracturing of a national sense of common ground and shared affiliation by digital media.

7. Drought in the West.

8. The inability to identify, foster and consistently reward the qualities that make teachers effective.

9. The lag in maintenance and repair of the nation's infrastructure.

10. The crisis of immigrant children flocking to the border.

Try this line of thought: Let's say you go to work in the morning and you encounter a problem. You could spend the day thinking carefully, systematically and accurately about this problem, and then moving on, by mid-afternoon, to a resolution and remedy. Instead, you choose to devote the whole day to looking for a co-worker to blame and preparing statements of condemnation to heap on the successful candidate.

Would you feel, at the end of that day, that you had invested your time and effort productively? Even if you felt satisfaction and pride in a day well spent, would any of your co-workers agree?

And yet this batty way of taking on a problem is embraced widely in civic life today. Our leaders and many of our citizens are showing such an enthusiasm for the allocating of blame that they do not have an ounce of energy left over for actual problem-solving.
Read more here.

Information about cigarettes

Rick Tosches writes today:
Cigarettes cause 480,000 deaths each year in the U.S. Ten times more Americans have died from cigarettes than have died in all the wars fought by the U.S. in its history. Smoking causes more deaths each year than HIV, illegal drug use, alcohol use, car crashes and gunfire. Combined.

Smoking, as we were told in 1964, causes lung cancer, heart disease, stroke and emphysema, to name the biggies.

Cigarettes contain more than 7,000 chemicals, including formaldehyde, which is used to embalm the dead. It also contains cadmium (used to make batteries), arsenic, carbon monoxide (car exhaust), hydrogen cyanide, ammonia, butane and toluene (also found in paint thinner.)
Read more here.

Happy tourists

Vincent Carroll give us some information about the sales of marijuana in Colorado in today's Denver Post. Most of the buyers are tourists and visitors from out of state.
It's not just that 90 percent of retail sales of marijuana in mountain resorts so far have been to out-of-staters, as well as almost half of all such retail sales in the state and 44 percent of those sales in the Denver metro area.

Most of the heavy users are sticking with medical pot.
Many of Colorado's heaviest marijuana users, meanwhile, appear to be quite happy sticking with medical pot, which they were able to obtain long before Amendment 64.

Medical pot is cheaper (7.62 percent sales tax in Denver as opposed to 21.12 percent at retail outlets) and more widely available. And while it requires a doctor's permission, that has been notoriously easy to secure.

Heavy users — those who consume marijuana every day — "drive almost 70 percent of total marijuana demand," the Department of Revenue study says. No wonder medical marijuana sales dwarfed retail sales in the first four months of this year — $133 million vs. $70 million — while tax revenues from retail pot are lagging far behind projections.

Price and availability may not be the only reasons for medical marijuana's unexpected resilience, either. The fact that medical and retail pot establishments are allowed to co-locate on the same premises — in apparent violation of Amendment 64 — no doubt has propped up medical sales, too.

It's all but forgotten now, but the amendment passed in 2012 said, "Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit any medical marijuana center ... to operate on the same premises as a retail marijuana store."

And yet thanks to the legislature's decision to flout the constitution, co-location is actually the norm.

The governor's task force on Amendment 64 last year recommended "complete" physical separation between the two types of stores, but lawmakers approved rules saying medical and retail shops could share the same space so long as there were no sales of medical marijuana to patients under 21.

The result in Denver, according to the city's executive director of marijuana policy, Ashley Kilroy, is that 85 of the city's 90 retail stores sell both medical and retail pot, and just 21 have separate entrances and facilities.

Given this state of affairs, dreams of a tax bonanza from retail marijuana may have to be put on hold. Heavy users drive marijuana sales and they have a strong incentive to use cheaper medical marijuana. And marijuana store owners have no incentive to convert solely to retail sales given the convenience of operating both types of outlets.

But at least we've made the tourists happy with our new retail shops.
Read more here.

Will they get revenge?

Denver Broncos mania is beginning to build momentum here in Colorado. They report to camp Thursday. On August 7 they play their first preseason game in Denver against a team called the Seattle Seahawks. They play the Seahawks again in September in Seattle, and perhaps for a third time in Glendale, Arizona early in 2015.

"Tea Party of the Left"

Well, what do you know? Earlier today in a blog post I asked if anyone has ever seen a story about "the left" in a major U.S. newspaper. Today there is one in the Denver Post by Lynn Bartels, the Post's best political reporter. She writes that the "Tea Party of the left" is waging a ferocious battle against fracking in Colorado. The left has several issues they are trying to place on the November ballot.
The ballot measures — dealing with setbacks, local control and other issues related to drilling and fracking — are bankrolled by U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, a Boulder Democrat who used his vast wealth in 2004 to help turn Colorado blue. Now there are fears his money could turn the state red, with the ballot measures hampering Hickenlooper and Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Udall in their tough re-election bids.
Read more here.

I have another friend, otherwise intelligent, who is absolutely convinced by the arguments of the anti-fracking leftists.

On the menu

The Denver Post has a big headline today that says: Palin's jabs fire up the right. When was there a time when you read in any major newspaper in America about the left? One of my colleagues at work this week, out of the blue, ridiculed Sarah Palin. The media really did a number on Palin in 2008, convincing even intelligent t.v. watchers that Palin is a dolt.

Yesterday Palin addressed something called The Western Conservative Summit in Denver. Lynn Bartels reports in the Post:
Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin ripped President Obama on Saturday, saying in order to "save the Republic" Americans must "have the guts to talk about impeachment."

Read more here.

Christians flee in Iraq

Alissa J. Rubin reports in the New York Times:
BAGHDAD — By 1 p.m. on Friday almost every Christian in Mosul had heard the Sunni militants’ message — they had until noon Saturday to leave the city.

Interviews on Friday with Christian elders and leaders suggest that in fact many had hung on, hoping for an accommodation, a way to continue the quiet practice of their faith in the city that had been their home for more than 1,700 years.

A YouTube video shows ISIS taking sledgehammers to the tomb of Jonah, something that was also confirmed by Mr. Hikmat. The militants also removed the cross from St. Ephrem’s Cathedral, the seat of the Syriac Orthodox archdiocese in Mosul, and put up the black ISIS flag in its place. They also destroyed a statue of the Virgin Mary, according to Ghazwan Ilyas, the head of the Chaldean Culture Society in Mosul, who spoke by telephone on Thursday from Mosul but seemed to have left on Friday.
Please read more here.

Where is the father?

Here is why we do need child protection services:
A 7-year-old boy was nearly starved to death, suffered regular beatings and resorted to catching insects to eat during brief times he was allowed outside, police said in charging his mother and grandparents with assault and other offenses

Child welfare workers, responding to a complaint, found the child looking like a human skeleton in home in Greenville, in western Pennsylvania, last month, The Sharon Herald reported (http://bit.ly/1mZW530) Saturday.

The mother, 28-year-old Mary C. Rader, and the grandparents who lived with them, Dennis C. Beighley, 58, and Deana Beighley, 47, were charged with assault, unlawful restraint of a minor, false imprisonment, endangering a child's welfare and conspiracy.

The boy weighed 25 pounds when taken to a hospital last month and has since gained 20 pounds, authorities said.

"The most important medicine used to treat him at the hospital was food. He was within a month of having a major cardiac event that he probably would not have recovered from," said Dr. Jennifer Wolford of UPMC Children's Hospital Child Advocacy Center.

They targeted the boys:
"It is impossible to me that this severe neglect and active abuse was not visible. He was being starved in his own home around others of normal weight," she stated.

The boy's two sisters, ages 4 and 11, appeared healthy, while a 9-year-old brother was underweight but not as severely as the 7-year-old.

According to police, Rader decided to homeschool the 7-year-old last year, and he was not allowed outside the house except to the back porch, where he would sometimes eat the bugs he caught. He was fed small amounts of tuna and eggs and suffered beatings with a belt — particularly when he sneaked food, usually peanut butter and bread, police said.

He was forced to take ice-cold showers as punishment — the only showers he was allowed — and had two abscessed teeth that had to be removed, police said.
Read more here.

All the major t.v. media has covered this story, but NONE of them asks about the father. Father? Who needs a father in the enlightened 21st century?

Counting down

What's the deal with Casey Kasem? Somebody seeing dollar signs? From Wikipedia:
On June 6, 2014, Kasem was reported to be in critical but stable condition at a hospital in Washington state, receiving antibiotics for bedsores and treatment for high blood pressure. It was revealed that he had been bedridden for some time.[51] A judge ordered separate visitation times due to antagonism between Jean Kasem and his children from his first wife.[52] Judge Daniel S. Murphy ruled that Kasem had to be hydrated, fed, and medicated as a court-appointed lawyer reported on his health status. Jean Kasem claimed that he had been given no food, water, or medication the previous weekend. Kerri Kasem's lawyer stated that she had him removed from artificial food and water on the orders of a doctor and in accordance with a directive her father signed in 2007 saying he would not want to be kept alive if it "would result in a mere biological existence, devoid of cognitive function, with no reasonable hope for normal functioning."[42] Murphy reversed his order the following Monday, after it became known that Kasem's body was no longer responding to the artificial nutrition, allowing the family to place Kasem on "end-of-life" measures over the objections of Jean Kasem.[53]

On June 15, 2014, Kasem died at St. Anthony's Hospital in Gig Harbor, Washington at the age of 82.[10][54][55] He was survived by his wife, four children, and four grandchildren.[56] Casey's body was handed over to widow Jean, who would be making funeral arrangements.[57] Casey wanted to be buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles.[58]

Kerri stated that Jean sent a letter to the lawyer responsible for Casey's will that Jean intended to be "coming after" the irrevocable trust Casey established for his children in the 1980s.[58]

On July 19, it was reported that a judge had granted Kasem's daughter Kerri a temporary restraining order to prevent his wife from cremating Kasem's body to allow an autopsy to be performed, but when she went to give a copy of the restraining order to the funeral home, she was informed that they no longer had his remains. It was later revealed that Kasem's wife Jean had filed a death certificate dated July 15 listing an address in Jerusalem, Israel.[59]
Read more here.

Dangers of too much caffeine

Amazon is offering two day free shipping on caffeine powder. It must know what is obvious: teens and many adults are easily addicted to caffeine. Instead of getting enough sleep at night and keeping themselves in good shape, many people just rely on caffeine to give them "energy." You want an investment that will pay off big? Invest in the companies that make Red Bull or Monster!

The young man in the photo above was in excellent physical shape. But he apparently wanted that caffeine boost, and it cost him his life.
This Jan. 16, 2014, photo shows Keystone High School wrestler Logan Stiner during a match in Sheffield Village, Ohio. The Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers to avoid pure powdered caffeine sold on the Internet after Stiner died after consuming it. Even a teaspoon of the powder could be lethal — it is equivalent to 25 cups of coffee. (AP Photo/Steve Manheim, The Chronicle Telegram)

Read more here.


You would think this might hurt their bottom line:
PENSACOLA, Fla. -- A Florida jury has returned one of the largest verdicts ever against a tobacco company.

The jury in the case Cynthia Robinson v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company sided Friday night with Robinson, the widow of a longtime smoker who died of lung cancer in 1996, to award her more than $16 million in compensatory damages and $23 billion in punitive damages.

Following a nearly four-week trial, the jury deliberated for 15 hours to eventually determine that the tobacco company was negligent in informing Robinson's husband, Michael Johnson Sr., that smoking causes lung cancer and that nicotine is highly addictive.

"The environment today is completely different than it was in the '50s and '60s, when Robinson's husband was alive," said Christopher Chestnut, one of the woman's attorneys. Reynolds knew its product was addictive, but it didn't market it correctly. The company lied and marketed cigarettes as safe, yet they contained countless harmful chemicals."

Johnson became addicted to cigarettes and contracted and later died of lung cancer.
Read more here.

Photo: Justin Sullivan, Getty Images)

But wait, there was more news last week about R.J. Reynolds:
As the U.S. cigarette market dips, the nation's second-largest tobacco company, Reynolds American, announced Tuesday that it plans to buy the third-largest one, Lorillard, for about $27.4 billion, creating a rival for market leader and Marlboro maker Altria.

Reynolds, maker of Camel and Pall Mall, will acquire Lorillard, maker of Newport, for cash and stock valued at $68.88 per Lorillard share. The deal, which includes assumption of Lorillard debt, is one of the largest ever in the tobacco industry and will likely face scrutiny from regulators.
Read more fascinating details here.

You want sick? Here's sick!

WHITE PLAINS, New York (AP) — Experts say the case of a mother accused of poisoning her 5-year-old son to death with salt appears be an example of how social media feeds into Munchausen by proxy, a disorder in which caretakers purposely harm children and then bask in the attention and sympathy.

Lacey Spears, of Scottsville, Kentucky, has pleaded not guilty to charges of depraved murder and manslaughter in the January death of her son, Garnett-Paul Spears, whose sodium levels rose to an extremely dangerous level with no medical explanation.

As Spears moved around the country — Alabama, Florida and eventually New York — she kept friends updated on her son's frequent hospitalizations with photos and musings on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and a blog.

Munchausen by proxy has been suspected in several court cases over the years. In 1979, a California woman was convicted of murder for slowly poisoning one child; the case was cracked when a second baby came down with similar symptoms. In 2010, a Tennessee woman pleaded guilty but mentally ill to charges she injected saltwater into her infant son's feeding tube. A woman in Minnesota is accused of smothering her son; she said she wanted more attention from doctors.

Most cases rarely end in death because the child "is the goose that lays the golden egg for somebody who's so needy of attention," Sirkin said. "It would defeat the purpose to kill the child." Often when a death occurs, it's because of a miscalculation, Feldman said.
Read the whole thing here.

Exercise your empathy!

Once again today Seth Godin has some valuable, succinct advice:
Go first!

Before you're asked.

Before she asks for the memo, before the customer asks for a refund, before your co-worker asks for help.



Imagine what the other person needs, an exercise in empathy that might become a habit.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

She will not be held accountable

The 23-year-old woman in this photo has admittted that she lied when she accused her father of raping her when she was 11 - accusations that put him behind bars for nine years.
Read the details here.

65% of illegal alien children who have entered the U.S. this year have already been given asylum

Rick Moran writes:
It’s funny how we have to find this stuff out from Congress and not the administration.

A House Judiciary Committee report states that 65% of illegal alien children who have entered the U.S. this year have already been given asylum — without appearing before a judge. Once granted asylum, the border jumper is eligible for all welfare programs — including Obamacare.

Now, before you burst a blood vessel, you can relax. According to the Department of Homeland Security, 70% of asylum cases contain “proven or possible fraud.”

What a trusting government we have! Don’t you wish the IRS worked that way?
Read more here.


Thanks to Ann Voskamp

Pit bull saves boy's life

Thanks to Ann Voskamp

Choosing to live joyously...for a century!

Please read about these positive sisters here.

Thanks to Ann Voskamp

Yep: She's fabulous

Thanks to Ann Voskamp

Vietnam vet gets new wheelchair after Lowes employees help him

Read the story here.

A rancid cocktail of hate and envy

Roger L. Simon explains how Israel alone is defending the West. He then concludes:
The hypocritical moralizing of the Obama-Kerry-Ban-Ki-Moons is about to go into overdrive as they will increasingly accuse the Israelis of over-reacting and harming too many civilians. Their media Greek chorus will scream out the death count at the top of their lungs , even though the numbers are puny compared to what is happening in Iraq and Syria or even, often enough, on a weekend in Chicago.

They will also all ignore, already having done so in an absolutely disrespectful manner, that the Israeli army does more to avoid civilian casualties than all the armies in the history of the world squared. I find Obama and Kerry’s pontification about this matter particularly nauseating, considering the American record on civilian deaths via drone attacks in Afghanistan, Iraq and Yemen is significantly worse than the Israeli.

But most of all, now is the time to get behind the Israeli government and troops with our support. We need them to finish the job, to keep going until not a single Hamas tunnel is left. That will send a message that will resonate throughout the world. And remember — #DefundHamas.
Please read more here.

Saving a life. Giving his own.

Thanks to Ann Voskamp

Are you providing what your customers want?

Who is making the decisions in your organization? The bean counters? Or the ones who wish for positive change for those served by your organization? Seth Godin hopes it is the latter. Read more here.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Absurd, but true

Thanks to Instapundit

We have a long way to go until fall

Victor Davis Hanson writes that
scandals are now coming so fast that each new mess makes us forget the previous one.
He thinks that
The summer of 2014 will go down in history as the season when America fell apart.

Some of Hanson's gems:
U.S. immigration law simply no longer exists. Incoming foreign nationals more likely welcome arrest than fear it. Tens of thousands of newly arrived immigrants expect that the cynical coalition of commercial interests, ethnic activists, and political operatives have subverted existing federal law. America is now wide open. Almost anyone can cross the border and receive subsidized sanctuary. If you object, you are a nativist, racist, or xenophobe — take your pick.

No one denies that top IRS officials lost or destroyed key documents concerning the agency’s election-time efforts to subvert conservative organizations. The unbiased IRS that we once knew has vanished. It has become an appendage of the ruling government that punishes enemies and rewards friends — and dodges a high-level audit by lying in the same fashion as the tax cheats it goes after.

Americans accept the fact that a video never had anything to do with the killing of four American officials in Benghazi and know that the Obama administration knew precisely that when it assured them otherwise.

What keeps the country afloat this terrible summer?

Some American companies produce more gas and oil than ever despite, not because of, the Obama administration. Most Americans still get up every day, work hard, and pay more taxes than they receive in subsidies. American soldiers remain the most formidable in the world despite the confusion of their superiors. The law, regardless of the administration, is still followed by most. And most do not duck out on their daily responsibilities to golf, play pool, or go on junkets.

It is still a hard thing to derail America in a summer — but then again, we have a long way to go until fall.

Israelis haven't lost their moral scruples. Or their nerve.

Charles Krauthammer writes:
It’s to the Israelis’ credit that amid all this madness they haven’t lost their moral scruples. Or their nerve. Those outside the region have the minimum obligation, therefore, to expose the madness and speak the truth. Rarely has it been so blindingly clear.
Please read more here.

Rule by decree

Andrew McCarthy explains the concept of "High Crimes and Misdemeanors," as applied in the Constitution to the President of the United States:
Dereliction of duty, conduct unbecoming, profound deceitfulness, and the failure to honor an oath, to take a few obvious examples, would qualify as high crimes and misdemeanors even if they might not be indictable offenses if committed by one in whom high public trust was not reposed.

As I further relate in Faithless Execution, what the Framers were most concerned about was presidential misconduct that undermined our governing framework, particularly the separation of powers:

[F]ixing on betrayal of the president’s fiduciary duty and oath of allegiance to our system of government, [George] Mason elaborated that “attempts to subvert the Constitution” would be chief among the “many great and dangerous offences” beyond treason and bribery for which removal of the president would be warranted. Given that we here consider President Obama, who has, among other wrongs, actually succeeded in usurping congressional law-writing power – in the sense that he is ubiquitously exercising it with impunity – it is noteworthy that, for the Framers, mere attempts to subvert the constitution were a sufficiently heinous breach of trust to warrant removal by impeachment.

McCarthy goes on to decry the cluelessness of the man Republicans have put in charge of the House Judiciary Committee. He concludes that
Presidential lawlessness should not be a partisan issue. It should offend everyone. The precedents for executive domination that President Obama is setting will be available for exploitation by every future president, regardless of party. Godlatte admits the president does not execute the laws faithfully—the president’s main domestic duty—but does not see that as a ground for impeachment. Got that? He’s not saying, “Look, we don’t have the political support necessary to proceed with impeachment”; he is saying rampant presidential lawlessness does not constitute a legal basis for impeachment.

Translation: Our Washington ruling class does not see itself as bound by our quaint Constitution. When a Republican eventually wins the White House, expect the same rule by decree.
Please read more here.

A compassionate person who cares about the poor

Did the 90s destroy American manhood?

Susam L.M. Goldberg brings us ten ways 90s pop culture destroyed the American male. Remember Al Bundy? How about Homer Simpson? Goldberg adds:
Woody Allen made neuroses funny. Jerry Seinfeld made neuroses a way of life.

I have not seen the movie Clerks. Have you? Goldberg writes:
Jerry Seinfeld wasn’t the only guy who didn’t want to grow up. Kevin Smith garnered critical acclaim for his indie hit Clerks, which depicted two 20-something Gen-X bums doing nothing with their lives. Christopher Noxon may not have published Rejuvenile until 2006, but what he wrote about was a ’90s trend: grown boys who had no desire to become men. While the slightly metrosexual Jerry and George “reasoned” themselves out of relationships, grunge clerks Dante and Randal immersed themselves in a world of childish behaviors and impulses.

And rap?

Remember this?

White males as sexual predators? Goldberg writes:
The Fight Club myth also had a nasty co-theory that typified white males as sexual predators. The Lewinsky scandal solidified this notion, as the multiple sexual exploits of the white, male leader of the free world, also known as “The First Black President,” flooded the media. The fact that he perjured himself about the affair only added fuel to the anti-man fire.

By the end of the decade, American masculinity had been beaten into submission. With apathetic acceptance, men rejuveniled themselves into boyhood, shielding themselves with childish behaviors and neuroses in order to avoid commitment to adult responsibilities. Those who did choose to take on manhood did so at the threat of death or public shaming. The few who did choose to fight back only illustrated the academy’s myth that masculinity was ultimately the most destructive force in our culture.
Read more here.

A wait-and-see foreign policy?

Rand Paul is popular in Colorado. More popular than Texas Governor Rick Perry, who takes on Senator Paul in a recent Op-Ed column in the Washington Post:
As a veteran, and as a governor who has supported Texas National Guard deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, I can understand the emotions behind isolationism. Many people are tired of war, and the urge to pull back is a natural, human reaction. Unfortunately, we live in a world where isolationist policies would only endanger our national security even further.

What did Ronald Reagan do?
Reagan identified Soviet communism as an existential threat to our national security and Western values, and he confronted this threat in every theater. Today, we count his many actions as critical to the ultimate defeat of the Soviet Union and the freeing of hundreds of millions from tyranny.

At the time, though, there were those who said that Reagan’s policies would push the Soviets to war. These voices instead promoted accommodation and timidity in the face of Soviet advancement as the surest path to peace. This, sadly, is the same policy of inaction that Paul advocates today.

Paul is an articulate advocate for his views, which are shared by many on the left and some on the right. But in today’s world, with today’s threats, we still cannot “take blind shelter across the sea, rushing to respond only after freedom is lost.” That was President Reagan’s warning. Sen. Paul would be wise to heed it.

Rod Radosh is glad Governor Perry has challenged Senator Paul:
If you as an American believe our nation is really not at war, and that Iran has only peaceful intentions and does not want a nuclear weapon, or that ISIS and al-Qaeda are not a threat to our security, you are living in an illusory world.

Rand Paul may indeed gain popularity with his comfortable isolationist position. (Sorry, Senator: I know you consider it a pejorative, but it’s accurate.) If the Republicans nominate him as their presidential candidate, it will be a disaster in the making. They will be giving up a traditionally strong argument for their party — that Republicans will protect our national security. They will be aligning themselves with the left-wing of the already leftist Democrats, where peace at any price has been, for a long time, the popular policy to espouse.

So thank you Governor Perry, for daring to make the case for a strong foreign policy early in the day before the Republican primaries, giving Republican voters time to think over these important issues before they cast a vote for Rand Paul.
Please read more here.

Elizabeth Warren may be even worse than Hillary

Elizabeth Warren, the person the Obamas are allegiedly hoping will become our first woman President, instead of Hillary, may be even worse than Hillary. Bryan Preston shows here how Warren lies to shore up support among the left

Our enemies are at war with us!

Michael Ledeen believes it is important to know who are enemies are, and what they think. If we do that, we won't be naive about what can be accomplished through conflict-resolution negotiations. Please read more here.

Spare parts

The Russian maker of the Buk missile system that shot down MH17 has a no-bid $1 billion dollar contract with the Pentagon. Read more here.

Transcripts of pro-Russian separatists' phone calls

Bryan Preston is a blogger who can be depended upon to accurately report breaking news events. Here is what he has regarding the shooting down of MH17.


Would Hillary have had a better response to the shooting down of MH17 than did Barack Obama? Bryan Preston writes:
For those out there who may be thinking that Hillary Clinton would have handled today better than Obama, think again. Her quick response is essentially no response — have the Europeans lead.

Europe is far too dependent on Russian energy. Europe doesn’t lead. How many wars have to result from European fecklessness before Hillary Clinton learns that?
Read more here.

The drumbeat continues

Who gets shot in America? Why do shootings spike over the weekend? Why are summers the worst? Who speaks for the victims? Jennifer Mascia has written 350 posts at the New York Times blog entitled The Gun Report, covering the deaths of 40,000 people. What has she learned?
Gang shootings are prevalent, especially in former hubs of industry now in economic decline.

She claims that suburbs are magnets for gun violence, a claim I find hard to believe. The older, decaying suburbs, maybe, but not the newer, more affluent suburbs. And I also think there is a racial and ethnic component, which she does not even mention in this Raw Story blog post summarizing her findings.

Of course, gun violence is prevalent in large cities such as
Miami, Chicago, St. Louis, Detroit, Newark, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Dallas.

And let's not forget California.

She continues:
But while half of the shootings I featured were the result of a crime, the other half, I was most surprised to learn, resulted from arguments — often fueled by alcohol — among friends, neighbors, family members and romantic partners. More and more, people are solving their differences not with their fists but with guns. Husbands and wives are shooting each other, as are sisters and brothers. In many homes across America, loaded guns are easily accessible, and children find them, accidentally shooting themselves or each other. One hundred children died in unintentional shootings in the year after Newtown, which breaks down to two every week.

And there is this statistic:
In America, 60 percent of adult firearm deaths are a result of suicide.

Does she have a solution?
A year and a half later, you might expect that I’d have a solution to the country’s scourge of gun violence. But there is no one answer. It’s a favorite talking point of the right, but it’s true: Criminals will always find a way to get guns. But a lot of the people I covered weren’t criminals until the bullet left the chamber. How do you prevent a law-abiding person from obtaining a gun when he or she hasn’t done anything illegal yet?

Jennifer thinks one answer might be to increase vetting. She points out that
in order to obtain a firearm in Japan, which has half the population of America and averages about four gun murders per year, you must fill out binders full of paperwork, listen to 20 hours of lectures, take a written test and a shooting class, pass a criminal background check, subject yourself to a physical and psychological exam, submit to half a dozen police interviews, and police interviews of your friends and family, as well. You are asked to produce a floor map of your home and indicate where a firearm will be stored, as well as photos of the locks on your gun safe. Approval usually takes a year. You need to jump through such extreme hoops to own guns — and can get arrested just for firing one — that the Yakuza, the mob in Japan, prefers not to use them.

Universal background checks are something most Americans already support. Ensuring that gun checks are cross-referenced with mental health records in every state is a must. When Second Amendment advocates say we should enforce the laws already in place, they’re right. Montana and South Dakota submitted only three mental health records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System in 2012. North Dakota and Massachusetts turned in one, and Rhode Island submitted none.

Smart guns that only activate for their owner would reduce the chance that a child or an intruder could discharge them. Armatix, a German company, offers a gun that operates only when the owner is wearing a corresponding wristwatch. But the National Rifle Association has vigorously opposed such technology, and the two vendors who tried to market smart guns in America were harassed and received death threats from Second Amendment extremists, so they pulled the guns from their shelves.

Mascia shows her bias as an editorial assistant at the far left New York Times. She uses loaded phrases such as "the gun rights crowd," and "Second Amendment absolutists," and claims that in Florida "It’s easier to buy an assault weapon than it is to vote." And while she mentions "a favorite talking point of the right," she makes no mention of the favorite talking points of the left.

Joe Nacera, an Op-Ed columnist for the New York Times, was the man who asked Mascia to write The Gun Report blog. He also is the one who pulled the plug on it, as the last post was on June 10 of this year. Nevertheless, Mascic writes:
All we can do — journalists, gunshot victims and their families, people who care — is continue the drumbeat. We can mark every death and remember every victim. It’s not a solution, but it’s something.

Thursday, July 17, 2014


Scott Ott writes that even if Obama's apparatchik regime were Constitutional, it would be bad for America. Read the whole thing here.

You're not a superhero? It's not too late: if you're a parent, you can make one!

Bill Whittle says it doesn't take a village; it takes a person who does the hard work to make things better. "When socialists like Hillary Clinton say it takes a village, what they really mean is let someone else run your life, and let that person be them." And be sure to watch all the way to the end, where Bill has some very important words for parents. He is getting better and better.

Taking good care of foster parents

Breitbart's Kristen Tate spoke with officials at the Crittenton Services and Foster Family Agency in Murrieta, Calif. She learned that the agency is offering to pay families over $6000 a month to take in any migrant child who has come illegally into America.
The agency told Tate that individuals who offer up their homes to illegal immigrant children can make more than $6,000 per month, and that all a person needs is a driver’s license and a room with furniture in it.
Read more here.

Justice and mercy

Megyn Kelly interviews Glenn Beck here about his work to provide for the needs of the unaccompanied minors flooding our southern border. Glenn says he is interested in two things, justice and mercy. He also takes seriously his relationship to God, which is the citizenship that means the most to Glenn Beck.

I listened to Michael Savage Tuesday as I was driving to my dentist in Denver to get crowns and posts on my two front teeth. Savage was savaging Glenn Beck, as only Savage can do. Savage is always jealous of those who stand above him on the ratings chart.

Relocating a rattlesnake

Tonight I was talking with my son Jon on the phone. He was outside his house in New Mexico walking their horse named Pony. A five foot long rattlesnake did not like the horse, and began to rattle just a few feet away. Jon called his mother, who placed a barrel over the rattlesnake and put a board on top, then lifted the barrel onto the back of the pickup truck and headed down the remote country road to relocate the critter. Let's hope there are no neighboring ranchers who have earned bad karma.

They want Hillary, big government, and someone else to pay for it

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

"Comprehensive immigration reform"

Victor Davis Hanson writes:
The next time a politician drones on about “comprehensive immigration reform,” a few questions have to be asked: How is the border made secure first? Is it desirable that legal immigration be meritocratic and ethnically diverse? And does anyone get deported, and if so who exactly?

Silence will follow — or, if not silence, a long string of invectives.
Please read more here.

Plowing the fields with an upside down question mark

Are you the kind of person who has all the answers, or are you a person who has lots of questions? Ann Voskamp writes:
Yeah, sure, there may be those who think they have all the answers, but there’s a comfort walking with those who have questions, those who are wrestlers and wanderers and wonder-ers, who find the leaning into the questions let’s them live into stronger answers.
Read more here

Return them all immediately to their home countries

Dick Morris says the solution to the border invasion is to put them all on a plane and return them to their home countries. He recommends Congress repeal the 2008 legislation designed to help victims of sex trafficking, and substitute new language allowing for the swift return to their home countries. Click here to watch Dick's video.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Children's dead bodies washing ashore on the Rio Grande?

Photo via Drudge

Mexican emigrants crossing the Rio Grande near El Paso, Texas. (Danny Lehman/Corbis)

Gateway Pundit quotes an exclusive Fox News report:
Many don’t make it across the river; multiple sources became emotional when recounting their discoveries of small, lifeless bodies washed up along the riverbank.”

"The less welfare we have, the more immigrants we can absorb, and this will benefit them and benefit us."

John C. Wright weighs in here with a thoughtful analysis of what should be done about the current crisis on our southern border.

Catching a comet

After a 4.3 billion mile non-stop trip the European Space Agency's Rosetta vehicle is about to land a smaller onboard probe on a speeding ice-and-rock comet for the first time ever. Read about it here.

No touching!

Speaking of the blogger named Innominatus, he also has a post up comparing soccer to hockey. Hint: He prefers the latter. Read and enjoy it here.

Comin' to America

While we are on the subject, please check out Innominatus's post on some other people who are traveling light, on top of freight trains across Mexico to Texas. He calls it "Barry Porous Border."

Take it up with your government

Jim Geraghty writes in his Morning Jolt newsletter this morning:
We understand gang violence, drug cartels, and other criminals are making your countries terrible places to live. We’re really sorry to hear that. We’ve also given your government quite a bit of money to make life better down there. Honduras, we gave you $83 million in foreign aid in 2013. El Salvador: $46.8 million. Guatemala: $106 million. If the money wasn’t spent well, take it up with your government. Some of you might say that’s not enough, but we’re not obligated to give you anything. There are a hell of a lot of Americans who think that money could be better spent back here.
To read more, visit www.nationalreview.com

Monday, July 14, 2014

"The last thing you want to be is outgunned by the drug cartels. And we were historically." -- Gov. Rick Perry, TX

Sean Hannity gets a personal tour of the border near McAllen, Texas from Texas Governor Rick Perry.

Big Mother

Scott Ott has a great piece tonight about children playing outside. This is what happened in LaPorte, Texas when a mom sat outside watching her two children ride their scooters in the cul de sac where their home was located:

Scott also writes about a mom in South Carolina who allowed her nine-year-old daughter to play for several hours at a local park while the mom worked at McDonalds. Please read more here.

I am so thankful for the outdoor life my three youngest children are experiencing in New Mexico. On days when they want to work, they earn minimum range on their mom's farm/ranch. On days when they want to play, they explore arroyos, play football with no protective gear, play basketball, and play with animals.

The child protection system seems to be getting out of hand. There is a blog that catalogs its abuses daily. It is called Legally Kidnapped. I should read it more often.

The Mark Levin show

Do you listen to the Mark Levin radio show? I used to not be able to, because I didn't like the way he yells when he is making his points. Now I listen to him when I am in the kitchen preparing dinner. I don't think he is the one who has changed; I think I am the one who has changed. I realize he is telling the truth. I still don't think it is necessary to yell when telling the truth, but I do understand his anger. He loves this country, and sees what the Obama administration is doing to "transform" it.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

So they like you

Do you like you?

Thanks to Ann Voskamp

Reporting for duty

Thanks to Ann Voskamp

Move? Why?

Thanks to Ann Voskamp

Could you get behind this team?

From Doug Ross

My comments? I would have Allan West as Secretary of Defense. Andrew McCarthy as Attorney General. Victor Davis Hanson as Vice President.

Thanks to American Digest

I don't know why you don't trust me

From Michelle Obama's Mirror

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Bored to death

Neoneocon writes about Obama the narcissist:
narcissists are grandiose and have delusions of omnipotence, and that if the world doesn’t step up and acknowledge their wonderfulness they suffer a re-opening of the narcissistic wound. The pain that results is almost unendurable, and narcissists will go to great lengths to avoid facing it.

Of course, it needn’t—except for the narcissist. For the latter, no deference can be enough and no reward high enough to satisfy. Obama is fated to be disappointed, because the locus of his problem lies in himself rather than in the world. The narcissistic wound, which underlies everything for narcissists and which they feel most acutely when they face failure and criticism rather than praise from the world at large, is experienced as so painful that it must be evaded at all costs:
Read more here.

In his book on narcissism Dr. Sam Vaknin writes:
He withdraws from his painful existence, where others fail to appreciate his greatness, special skills and talents, potential, or achievements. The narcissist thus ceases to bestow himself upon a cruel universe, punishing it for its shortcomings, its inability to realise how unique he is.

When narcissism thus fails as a defense mechanism, the narcissist develops paranoid delusions: self-directed confabulations which place him at the center of others’ allegedly malign attention. The narcissist becomes his own audience and self-sufficient as his own, sometimes exclusive, source of narcissistic supply.

Neoneocon notes that Valerie Jarrett is Obama's closest advisor, and has been for his entire political life. Jarrett had this to say about Obama:
He’s been bored to death his whole life. He’s just too talented to do what ordinary people do.”

Where is the fact-checking?

The media aids and abets a liar. Abortion is the holy grail of the left.

Thanks to neoneocon.

Immoral special interests hijack U.S. immigration law

Detainees sleep in a holding cell at a U.S. Customs facility in Brownsville, Texas. (Getty)

Victor Davis Hanson notes:
For all the pop romance in Latin America associated with Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba, few Latinos prefer to immigrate to such communist utopias or to socialist spin-offs like Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, or Peru.

Mexico strictly enforces some of the harshest immigration laws in the world that either summarily deport or jail most who dare to cross Mexican borders illegally, much less attempt to work inside Mexico or become politically active. If America were to emulate Mexico’s immigration policies, millions of Mexican nationals living in the U.S. immediately would be sent home.

How, then, are tens of thousands of Central American children crossing with impunity hundreds of miles of Mexican territory, often sitting atop Mexican trains? Does Mexico believe that the massive influxes will serve to render U.S. immigration law meaningless, and thereby completely shred an already porous border? Is Mexico simply ensuring that the surge of poorer Central Americans doesn’t dare stop in Mexico on its way north?

The media talks of a moral crisis on the border. It is certainly that, but not entirely in the way we are told. What sort of callous parents simply send their children as pawns northward without escort, in selfish hopes of soon winning for themselves either remittances or eventual passage to the U.S? What sort of government allows its vulnerable youth to pack up and leave, without taking any responsibility for such mass flight?

Here in the U.S., how can our government simply choose not to enforce existing laws? In reaction, could U.S. citizens emulate Washington’s ethics and decide not to pay their taxes, or to disregard traffic laws, or to build homes without permits? Who in the pen-and-phone era of Obama gets to decide which law to follow and which to ignore?

Who are the bigots — the rude and unruly protestors who scream and swarm drop-off points and angrily block immigration authority buses to prevent the release of children into their communities, or the shrill counter-protestors who chant back “Viva La Raza” (“Long Live the Race”)? For that matter, how does the racialist term “La Raza” survive as an acceptable title of a national lobby group in this politically correct age of anger at the Washington Redskins football brand?

How can American immigration authorities simply send immigrant kids all over the United States and drop them into communities without firm guarantees of waiting sponsors or family? If private charities did that, would the operators be jailed? Would American parents be arrested for putting their unescorted kids on buses headed out of state?

Progressives and ethnic activists see in open borders extralegal ways to gain future constituents dependent on an ever-growing government, with instilled grudges against any who might not welcome their flouting of U.S. laws. How moral is that?

Likewise, the CEOs of Silicon Valley and Wall Street who want cheap labor from south of the border assume that their own offspring’s private academies will not be affected by thousands of undocumented immigrants, that their own neighborhoods will remain non-integrated, and that their own medical services and specialists’ waiting rooms will not be made available to the poor arrivals.

Have immigration-reform advocates such as Mark Zuckerberg or Michael Bloomberg offered one of their mansions as a temporary shelter for needy Central American immigrants? Couldn’t Yale or Stanford welcome homeless immigrants into their now under-occupied summertime dorms? Why aren’t elite academies such as Sidwell Friends or the Menlo School offering their gymnasia as places of refuge for tens of thousands of school-age Central Americans?

What a strange, selfish, and callous alliance of rich corporate grandees, cynical left-wing politicians, and ethnic chauvinists who have conspired to erode U.S. law for their own narrow interests, all the while smearing those who object as xenophobes, racists, and nativists.

How did such immoral special interests hijack U.S. immigration law and arbitrarily decide for 300 million Americans who earns entry into America, under what conditions, and from where?
Read a little bit more here.

Hey, why not use the Catholic Church?

Will the Obama administration use the Catholic Church to feed and house illegal immigrants from Central America? Ryan Lovelace writes that it is already happening in California. Please read more here.

The "process"

Andrew McCarthy warns us not to hand over the IRS investigation to a special prosecutor:
As it actually exists, however, an “independent counsel” would be tailor-made for letting the administration and the IRS dodge accountability.

Let’s talk reality. As a matter of constitutional law, there is no such thing as an independent counsel. In our system, prosecution is a plenary executive power. All federal investigations and prosecutions proceed under the authority of the president; neither the Congress nor the courts have police powers. Any prosecutor, regardless of how “independent” we’d like him to be, would have to serve at the pleasure of the president, and would report to Eric Holder.

Ah yes, the process. You’ll have to trust them that it works . . . on those rare occasions when you pause to think about it. But how much thinking about the IRS do you suppose you’ll be doing once Congress stands down and news about it dries up?

When was the last time you thought about Fast and Furious? About the debt ceiling (or is it the retractable debt dome)? Or how about the just-announced EPA regs? It’s only been a few weeks since they were announced, and they could crush the most vibrant sector of our otherwise rigor mortis economy. Yet news coverage barely got to them, buried as they were between the VA scandal and the commander-in-chief’s replenishing of the Taliban. You can be excused for not remembering. Sure, it’s just the blink of an eye ago, but in Obama’s America Transformed, that’s the time it takes to roll out the welcome-mat for 300,000 illegal aliens.

You can have political accountability for abuses of power or you can have an “independent” counsel and “the process.” Political accountability is driven by congressional investigations and court cases brought by citizens whose rights have been trampled. It is messy, combative, and political, but the malfeasance it uncovers can result in the removal of corrupt officials from power.

By contrast, “the process,” under the steady hand of “independent” counsels, is neat, silent, and somnolent. In fact, once it starts, that may be the last you hear about it until President Obama pardons everyone on his way out the door.

Democrats abandon African Americans

Have you seen some of the You Tube videos of African Americans protesting the influx of poor Hispanic shildren? A.J. Delgado asks and answers this question:
Who will be harmed most by amnesty? African Americans.

Meanwhile, the harm to African Americans is not limited to reduced wages, greater competition for jobs, and declining household incomes – now even the black history of suffering is being diluted. Liberal columnist and CNN pundit Sally Kohn penned a column last week arguing that the term ‘illegal immigrant’ is the same as the N-word. Kohn, is usually fair-minded and reasoned in her arguments, lumping black Americans’ unique history and suffering with that of certain Latino immigrants is absurd and offensive. Consider that the N-word was used to describe a person who was whipped daily, while ‘illegal immigrant’ is a word used to describe a person who receives free education (even in-state tuition!), housing, driver’s licenses, legal aid, food, and healthcare. To even claim the two words are similar is an unthinkable affront – and insult – to African-Americans.
Read more here.

How America was reduced to impotence

Dick Morris says that from day one Obama moved the country toward socialism, starting with the one trillion dollar stimulus program. Second was the government takeover of General Motors, in which the stockholders and bondholders were told to step aside, and only the union pensions and wages were protected. Third was Obamacare. These created a tremendous instability and a lack of confidence in the dollar, and we were reduced to impotence.
Watch the video here.

The next revolutionary change coming soon: self-driving cars

Seth Godin believes self-driving cars are going to be happening soon. If so, they will have a huge transforming effect on our lives. Godin lists some of the advantages:
Few traffic jams--cars will have a slower top speed, but rarely stop
No traffic lights--cars talk to each other
Dramatically less pollution
Pedestrians are far safer, bicycling becomes fun again
No parking issues--the car drives away and comes back when you need it
Lower costs and more access for more people more often
Instant and efficient carpooling, since the car knows who's going where

After weighing a few of the advantages and disadvantages, Godin concludes:
This is a bigger shift than the smart phone, and it might happen nearly as fast.
Please read more here.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Hickenlooper's friend Bloomberg makes fun of two Colorado cities

Tom Blumer reports some inaccurate comments made by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg about recall elections in two Colorado cities where gun control Democrat politicans were recalled:
In a story which was apparently prematurely posted at Rolling Stone Magazine’s web site (link is to a separately saved Google cache copy), Bloomberg told Simon Vozick-Levinson that in recent recall elections in the Centennial State, “The NRA went after two or three state Senators in a part of Colorado where I don’t think there’s roads. It’s as far rural as you can get.” Really.

Two “rural” cities located in districts which had recall elections include Pueblo (population: 107,772) and Colorado Springs (population 431,834, which if located in New York would make it the Empire State’s second-largest city by a margin of 70% over runner-up Buffalo).
Read more here.

Glib and guilt-free

Jonah Goldberg weighs in on case of the 12-year-old rape victim whose rapist was defended by Hillary Clinton:
I understand there’s a debate over whether or not Hillary is really laughing in that interview where she recounts how she got her child-rapist off with essentially a rap on the knuckles. But I think it’s fair to say she seems awfully glib and guilt-free about her role in it. For most normal people, I think that’s terribly off-putting. Moreover, you’d think someone who seeks to be the Joan of Arc of womanhood would have a good deal more sorrow about her role in a necessary evil.
Read more at The Goldberg File at National Review.

Is it about amnesty, or about a domestic political power base?

Bill Whittle talks about unearned moral posing:

Choosing joy and rest

Bonnie Gray asks:
Is anything really worth enjoying if it can’t last anyway?

This is why joy feels dangerous. Because for some of us, joy is connected to times in our lives where it was taken away or ruined, when a simple moment of happiness was decimated by a person, place, or thing.

Jesus is kind and gentle, never tiring, always longing to whisper in different ways—

You are loved.

You’re worth it.

Just rest.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
Please read more here.

Crises, chaos: fundamentally change America

Tom Blumer concurs with Ed Driscoll (and visa versa) regarding the importance that Obama places on the Cloward-Piven strategy of overwhelming systems in order to transform America into a socialist paradise.

Blumer writes:
The Obama administration-driven calamity at this nation’s southern border is no naiveté-caused accident. Instead, it’s the latest manifestation of what clear-eyed observers must recognize is just one of many concerted attempts to overwhelm this nation’s institutions and its social, psychological and physical infrastructure for the apparent purpose of leaving it permanently weakened and fundamentally changed.

Cloward and Piven wrote in 1966:
We tend to overlook the force of crisis in precipitating legislative reform, partly because we lack a theoretical framework by which to understand the impact of major disruptions.

By crisis, we mean a publicly visible disruption in some institutional sphere. Crisis can occur spontaneously (e.g., riots) or as the intended result of tactics of demonstration and protest which either generate institutional disruption or bring unrecognized disruption to public attention. Public trouble is a political liability, it calls for action by political leaders to stabilize the situation. Because crisis usually creates or exposes conflict, it threatens to produce cleavages in a political consensus which politicians will ordinarily act to avert.

Blumer adds:
Former Obama adviser and now Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s oft-cited statement that “you never let a serious crisis go to waste” is in no way an original thought.

As to the recent wave of “Unaccompanied Alien Children” — that’s the Department of Homeland Security’s term, not mine — make no mistake. President Barack Obama and his advisers had to know that hordes of unaccompanied children would be sent to cross our southern border when he unilaterally imposed “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” in June of 2012. Despite seeing its results, Homeland Security renewed DACA for two more years earlier this month. The default assumption simply must be that “Obama is using these children as pawns to implement his goal of universal citizenship for illegal immigrants.”

In other words, it’s Cloward-Piven, yet again.
Please read more here.

Happening by design

Ed Driscoll quotes Tom Blumer:
As to the recent wave of “Unaccompanied Alien Children” — that’s the Department of Homeland Security’s term, not mine — make no mistake. President Barack Obama and his advisers had to know that hordes of unaccompanied children would be sent to cross our southern border when he unilaterally imposed “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” in June of 2012. Despite seeing its results, Homeland Security renewed DACA for two more years earlier this month. The default assumption simply must be that “Obama is using these children as pawns to implement his goal of universal citizenship for illegal immigrants.”

In other words, it’s Cloward-Piven, yet again.

In the Wall Street Journal, Peggy Noonan concurs:

There is every sign he let the crisis on the border build to put heat on Republicans and make them pass his idea of good immigration reform. It would be “comprehensive,” meaning huge, impenetrable and probably full of mischief. His base wants it. It would no doubt benefit the Democratic Party in the long term.

The little children in great danger, holding hands, staring blankly ahead, are pawns in a larger game. That game is run by adults. How cold do you have to be to use children in this way?

Driscoll adds:
Which on one level is pretty rich considering that the Wall Street Journal has been calling for open borders for years — to the point of shaming conservatives who supported tighter controls over immigration, but these are still valid points, made by a former White House insider who can’t believe she once supported such a dysfunctional president.

Driscoll then quotes from Peter Wehner writing in Commentary:
The president is a man who has a grandiose sense of himself, a very strong sense of entitlement, and is, even for a politician, unusually prickly and self-pitying. He is blind to the damage he’s doing and the failures he’s amassed. His self-conception–pragmatic, empirical, non-ideological, self-reflective, willing to listen to and work with others, intellectually honest, competent at governing–is at odds with reality. Mr. Obama is constantly projecting his own weaknesses onto his political opponents. There are never any honest differences with Obama; he is always impugning the motives of his critics–they put “party ahead of country”–while presenting his own motives as being as pure as the new-driven snow. And whatever goes wrong on his watch is always the result of someone or something else. There’s a kind of impressive consistency to Obama’s blame game. It never rests, and it applies to every conceivable circumstance.

Driscoll concludes:
on one level or another, by design.
Please read more here.

A governor with a chest?

Paula Bolyard wishes the U.S. was being led by a man with a chest, instead of by a Pajama Boy. She uses this quote:
“We make men without chests and expect from them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.”― C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man

Bolyard continues:
Perry, the gun-slinging, tough-talking, God-fearing Texas governor, reminds us of what we’ve been missing: for too long we’ve had a president without a chest. In The Abolition of Man, C.S. Lewis imagines a dystopian future without objective truth and divorced from natural law, where “men without chests” rule by their own unreflected whims and according to their own selfish motives. It seems we’ve arrived at that future, or dangerously close to it.
Please read more here.

Paula posts this 2010 speech by Perry as an example of a governor with a chest.

I am not convinced about how wonderful Texas is. I lived in Texas from 1958-1964. It was the time of civil rights passions. I found a lot of bigotry. I was glad to leave to go to graduate school in Kansas in 1964, and have not been back.

Will the new estimate change our behavior again?

Has the crisis been averted? All that's left (in media) is the propaganda wing of the socialist movement. An overblown issue, like all the other overblown issues. Lying and manipulating data is all the left has. We get accused of things for which there is no evidence. Proving facts that don't exist. Latching onto sketchy data to fuel their paychecks and their crony relationships with lawmakers. Information driven by causes: garbage in, garbage out.